Healthy Lunch Options for Back to School
It’s hard to believe back to school season is upon us and in just a few short weeks, the school year will be in full swing. Amidst the excitement and anticipation of a new school year, there’s one essential aspect that often requires some creative thinking: lunchtime! Say goodbye to boring brown bag lunches and send your kids to school with healthy, nutritious and fun lunches. Keep reading for some delicious, healthy lunch and snack options for back to school.
Pizza Roll-Up Bento Box
- 1 8-inch whole-wheat flour tortilla
- 2 tablespoons prepared pizza sauce
- 12 leaves baby spinach
- 3 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella
- ½ cup cucumber spears
- ½ cup cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons low-fat creamy dressing, such as ranch
- 1 cup small watermelon pieces
- 6 chocolate wafer cookies
- Place tortilla on a plate and spread pizza sauce over it. Top with an even layer of spinach and sprinkle cheese on top. Microwave on High until the cheese is just melted, about 45 seconds. Carefully roll the tortilla up. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into pieces, if desired. Pack the slices in a medium container.
- Pack cucumber and cauliflower in another medium container. Nestle a small, dip-size container among the vegetables and add dressing.
- Pack watermelon in one small container and cookies in another small container.
S’Mores Energy Balls
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup creamy sunflower seed butter or nut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 8 whole graham crackers, coarsely crushed and divided
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 36 mini marshmallows (about ½ cup)
- Combine oats, sunflower seed butter (or nut butter), honey, ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and cinnamon in a medium bowl; stir well.
- Place the remaining graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture and flatten it slightly. Place a mini marshmallow in the center, cover it with the mixture, and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in the graham cracker crumbs to coat. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Makes about 3 dozen balls.
To make ahead, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Quick Taco Wraps
- ½ cup cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup canned chopped green chiles
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- ½ cup bean dip
- 4 flour tortillas (10 inches)
- ½ cup guacamole dip
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 can (2 ¼ oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
- In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in green chiles, sour cream and taco seasoning.
- Spread bean dip over tortillas to within ½-inch of edges. Layer with guacamole dip, cream cheese mixture, onion, pepper, cheese and olives. Roll up tightly and serve.
Lunch Box Pizzas
- 1 tube (7 ½ oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 biscuits)
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 10 slices pepperoni
- ¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Flatten each biscuit into a 3-inch circle and press into a greased muffin cup. Combine the tomato sauce and Italian seasoning, then spoon 1 teaspoonful into each cup. Top each with a slice of pepperoni and about 1 tablespoon of cheese.
- Bake at 425° until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Turkey Club Wrap
- 1 flour or gluten-free tortilla
- 1 cup chopped lettuce
- ½ cup halved cherry tomato
- 2 oz sliced deli turkey
- 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
- 2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
- Place the tortilla onto a flat surface.
- Top the center of the tortilla with lettuce, tomatoes, chopped deli turkey, chopped hard-boiled eggs, cheese and a drizzle of ranch dressing.
- Fold and roll burrito style. Slice in half and pack into a lunch container.
BBQ Chicken Sandwich
- ½ cup shredded cooked chicken
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 2 teaspoons light ranch dressing
- 1 small whole-wheat sandwich bun
- 1 leaf romaine lettuce
- Combine chicken, carrots and barbecue sauce in a bowl.
- Spread ranch dressing on the bun and top with the chicken mixture and lettuce.
A well-nourished mind is the foundation for success, and these delicious nutritious meals will keep kids energized, focused and ready to take on the new school year!